Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Cooper

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

October 27, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
STERLING LAMAR COOPER

          Assigned on Briefs October 11, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Roane County Nos. 13775, 13895, 13866B, 13876B Jeffery H. Wicks, Judge

         The Petitioner, Sterling Lamar Cooper, appeals the Roane County Criminal Court's denial of his motion to correct an illegal sentence pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1. He argues that his effective twenty-four-year sentence, which included service of a nine-year community corrections sentence that was never revoked, is illegal. We affirm the trial court's denial of the motion but remand the case for correction of clerical errors in the judgments of conviction.

         Tenn. R. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal Court Affirmed and Remanded

          Alan R. Moore, Lenoir City, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sterling Lamar Cooper.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Senior Counsel; Russell Johnson, District Attorney General; and Robert Edwards, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Camille R. McMullen, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr., and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          CAMILLE R. MCMULLEN, JUDGE.

         The record indicates that on November 22, 2006, the Petitioner entered guilty pleas to one count of felony evading arrest, one count of felony reckless endangerment, and four counts of sale of a Schedule II substance in Roane County Criminal Court Case Nos. 12920, 13024, 13101A, and 13224, for which he received an effective nine-year community corrections sentence.

         On March 18, 2009, the Petitioner entered guilty pleas to several new drug charges in Case Nos. 13775, 13866B, 13876B, and 13895. At this plea submission hearing, the State recommended that the Petitioner receive an effective sentence of fifteen years for the aforementioned offenses, "consecutive to his old convictions in which he is currently on [c]ommunity [c]orrections, " which resulted in "a total effective sentence of 24 years[.]" The trial court accepted the State's recommendation and imposed "an effective total sentence of 24 years, " served concurrently with the Petitioner's Anderson County sentence. Specifically, in Case No. 13775, the Petitioner pleaded guilty to three counts of sale of less than .5 grams of cocaine and received concurrent sentences of five years, served consecutively to the sentences in Case Nos. 13866B, 13876B, 13895, and the sentences for his "old convictions." In Case No. 13866B, he entered a guilty plea to one count of sale of less than .5 grams of cocaine and received a sentence of five years, served consecutively to the sentence in Case No. 13775. In Case No. 13876B, he pleaded guilty to one count of sale of .5 grams or more of cocaine and received a sentence of ten years, served consecutively to the sentence in Case No. 13775. Finally, in Case No. 13895, the Petitioner entered a guilty plea to three counts of sale of .5 grams or more of cocaine and received concurrent sentences of eight years, served consecutively to the sentence in Case No. 13775 and the sentences in the "old Roane Co. cases." A note in the "Special Conditions" portion of the judgment form for count one of Case No. 13775 states: "Total 24 yrs in all cases including revoked CCP sentences; see CCP revocation order." Likewise, the "Special Conditions" portion of the judgment form for count one of Case No. 13876B states: "Total sentence on all Roane Co. matters of 24 years."

         On May 9, 2011, the Petitioner filed a pro se "Motion to Reopen Post-Conviction Petition" in Case Nos. 13775, 13866B, 13876B, and 13895, alleging that there had been a breach in the plea agreement, that he had received an illegal sentence, that he had received ineffective assistance of counsel, and that new scientific evidence existed establishing that he was actually innocent of the offenses for which he was convicted."[1]

         On December 12, 2014, the Petitioner filed a pro se "Motion to Correct Illegal Sentence under Tennessee Rule[] of Criminal Procedure 36.1" in several of his Roane County cases, including Case Nos. 13775, 13866B, 13876B, and 13895."

         On August 5, 2016, the Petitioner, with the assistance of counsel, filed in Case Nos. 13775, 13866B, 13876B, and 13895 an "Amended Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea or in the Alternative to Correct Illegal Sentence" pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1. Therein, the Petitioner alleged that "[n]o violation warrant was issued for [his] community corrections sentence" and that "[n]o revocation hearing was afforded to [him] concerning his community corrections sentence." Although the Petitioner acknowledged that his nine-year community corrections sentence had expired, he asserted that "the illegal [nine-]year sentence [was] a material component to the [March 18, 2009] plea agreement."

         At the August 26, 2016 hearing on this motion, the Petitioner's attorney stated that on March 18, 2009, the Petitioner entered guilty pleas in the Roane County Case Nos. 13775, 13895, 13866B, and 13876B and received an effective sentence of fifteen years. He asserted that the plea waiver forms and plea hearing transcript showed that the Petitioner was given "an additional nine[-]year sentence for ambiguous, old convictions consecutive to the [fifteen] years entered into on the cases which this motion was filed upon" and that "although the record in the above-styled cases [was] ambiguous as to the referenced old convictions, the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.